Muscat: COVID-19 infection rates in Oman are gradually declining, and continued precautionary measures will see them drop even further in the coming months.
A significant decrease in COVID numbers will be seen by September, which could lead to a major drop in the numbers of patients admitted to hospitals and intensive care units, said Ibrahim Al Maimani, a data analyst in the country.
While a decline in COVID-19 cases was seen from May 1 to May 20, in comparison to April, the deaths from the disease continue to remain at an alarming level, he added.
“From the beginning of May until last Thursday, we noticed a decrease in the numbers of new cases,” he said. “There was a drop in the numbers of new infections, while the recovery rate rose from 89.5 per cent to 92.5 per cent.”
During this period, 14,503 cases were recorded, compared to 23,475 cases during the same period in April, resulting in a 62 percent decrease in the numbers of new infections seen, he said.
Furthermore, 18,613 people recovered from the disease during the first three weeks of May, a slight increase of 0.4 percent, in comparison to the same time in April.
Good news in caseloads was also seen in hospitalisation rates: There were 169 inpatients fewer in hospitals on May 20, a 20 percent drop from the 833 admissions seen at the beginning of the month.
Similarly, the number of patients admitted to intensive care also declined from 275 at the start of May, to 251, 20 days later.
“This indicator is relatively good, because an increase in the number of inpatients constitutes a great burden to the Ministry of Health and the capacity of hospitals as a new record of 287 patients in intensive care was registered on May 4,” explained Al Maimani.
“When analysing the numbers of deaths, we see that this number is still high: the death rate for May has reached 11 deaths per day, which is a bit less than the daily rate of 11.5 last April – that is the highest rate since the start of the pandemic,” he said.
“The decline of case numbers by September, and the numbers of inpatients in hospitals, will also definitely affect the death rate,” he added.
“This coincides with the ministry’s plan to vaccinate between 30 and 35 per cent of the population by the end of August 2021, as well as continued efforts to prevent the entry of passengers from a previously announced list of 15 countries, and continued compliance of the right precautionary measures.”
Adding to this, Major Mohammed bin Salam Al Hashami from the Public Relations Department of the Royal Oman Police said people in the country were keen to practice the required measures, such as wearing masks, physical distancing in public places, and remembering to not bring children into areas such as shops and restaurants.
These, he said, coupled with the Supreme Committee’s recent decision to prevent the movement of vehicles and people at night, helped bring down the rates of infection.
“We’ve seen a dearth of reported violations,” he said. “The few that we did see were because during the movement ban, we did see people leaving their homes for reasons not considered valid. Therefore, they were considered to have violated the rules.”
“We must remember that we are still in the midst of the pandemic, and I call on society for more commitment and cooperation,” added Major Mohammed.
“This is a crisis that will be resolved because of the solidarity of everyone, which in this case, includes adhering to the right measures, and prevention from organising gatherings of any kind.
“Adherence to these measures will provide us the best way out of the pandemic, with the least amount of harm inflicted,” he said.
“This is particularly important during the current situation, in which new and mutated strains of the virus appear to be rapidly spreading. Observing the right measures, therefore, is a humanitarian duty and national obligation of all: the safety of everyone on this earth starts with all of us showing commitment and kindness.”
He was hopeful that falling infection rates will help reduce the number of COVID patients in hospitals, alleviate the extreme burden the pandemic has placed on the health sector, and enable it to provide crucial services to patients suffering from other ailments.
The Supreme Committee also expressed its happiness at the gradual in case numbers, hospitalisations, and intensive care admissions over the past few days.
“We would like to remember the unlimited generosity of our medical staff, and their continuous and dedicated efforts that they have undertaken since the start of the pandemic, which is now in its second year,” said the Supreme Committee in a statement. “We ask God and His Majesty to protect their souls with care and kindness.
“May the goodness of their virtues remain a quality that offers us hope, and help create a path that draws up the parameters of safety and security in the good land of Oman,” they added.